**Warning: This book is much better without reading the synopsis first**
As a cassandra sangue, or blood prophet, Meg Corbyn can see the future when her skin is cut—a gift that feels more like a curse. Meg’s Controller keeps her enslaved so he can have full access to her visions. But when she escapes, the only safe place Meg can hide is at the Lakeside Courtyard—a business district operated by the Others.
Shape-shifter Simon Wolfgard is reluctant to hire the stranger who inquires about the Human Liaison job. First, he senses she’s keeping a secret, and second, she doesn’t smell like human prey. Yet a stronger instinct propels him to give Meg the job. And when he learns the truth about Meg and that she’s wanted by the government, he’ll have to decide if she’s worth the fight between humans and the Others that will surely follow.
Anne Bishop sure has a talent for creating new worlds. Urban fantasies are usually a hit or miss for me – but this one was definitely a hit! Despite the high ratings on Goodreads, I wasn’t sure if I was going to like the book. I found the beginning to be very slow. For a while it seemed that the story centered around Meg Corbyn learning how to live like a normal person. But soon enough, everything picked up.
I was really intrigued with the idea of the Others. Bishop created a vivid world that was home to a host of dangerous and mysterious species. For a while I was turned off by the fact that the crows were named Crowgard, the wolves were named Wolfgard, the owls named Owlgard, etc… but as the storyline became increasingly exciting and more dangerous, the names didn’t bother me so much anymore. The story also had the perfect balance of intriguing information and mystery surrounding Meg Corbyn’s identity and the power of the Others.
I also loved the fact that the Others aren’t portrayed as sexy, or desirable, or human in any way. They are beasts who tolerate humans, and won’t hesitate to eat any human trespassing on their land. This was such a nice change from the flood of fantasy/paranormal novels out there that make monsters seem…less monstrous.
Another strong point of this book is the changing first person point of view. We read from the points of view of Meg Corbyn, Simon Wolfgard, Asia Crane, Lieutenant Montgomery, Vlad Sanguinati, and a few other characters briefly. This gave the story so much depth as we see this new world from the point of view of a wolf monster, a “vampire”, a human officer, a secret enemy of the monsters and Meg, and the main character.
I also love that unlike most YA fantasy (this is more NA fantasy) the main character, Meg, is not a normal girl who becomes “the chosen one”. No. This is about a woman without a name who escapes a compound where she is considered “property” and tries to learn how to live as a person, while avoiding being captured due to the hefty bounty on her head.
The ONLY reason this book didn’t get a full 5 stars is because the first quarter of the book was pretty slow, making it difficult to get into. For a long time it seemed that there were more and more questions building up with no answers. But as soon as the answers started being revealed, there was no way to put down this book. Highly recommended!